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Excerpt: "At the same time that Columbanus was establishing his monasteries in Merovingian Gaul, Pope Gregory the Great began planning a mission to convert the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms located in present-day England. The pope wrote to leading Merovingians such as Brunhild asking for their support in this endeavor and to provide whatever aid was necessary for the missionaries. In 596, Augustine (597–604/10), future bishop of Canterbury, and his party departed Italy for the north, traveling through the Merovingian kingdoms to Kent where the papal mission established their headquarters at the old Roman town of Canterbury (map 4.1).

In the first years of the seventh century, Augustine came into conflict with the British Church over their alternative practices, specifically baptism and the Celtic-84. Augustine also wanted the British bishops to submit to his authority and to assist in converting the Anglo-Saxons. However, the British churchmen refused to acknowledge Augustine’s jurisdiction or change their practices."


Originally published as chapter four of The Celtic and Roman Traditions: Conflict and Consensus in the Early Medieval Church, by Caitlin Corning, Palgrave Macmillan, 2006-10-02.

ISBN: 9781403972996